Madrigal & Chamber Choir Festivals, San Antonio and North Texas

The 2019 San Antonio Madrigal and Chamber Choir Festival currently has a slot available!

Email penny@amclass.com to learn more.

2019 Dates

February 22 & 23
University United Methodist Church
San Antonio, TX
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March 9, 2019
Canyon Creek Presbyterian Church
Richardson, TX

Download the 2019 San Antonio Registration Form

Download the 2019 North Texas Registration Form  

Overview

American Classic Tours and Music Festivals invites you to our flagship music festival in our home town of San Antonio. Experience the exceptional singing, camaraderie, competition and clinics which are the hallmark of American Classic’s premier choral festival. Competition Participants compete for first place and the designation of Honor Choir for the following year’s festival. A three judge panel will evaluate each performance and provide both ratings and written comments. The adjudicators will also rank each choir’s performance in order to designate first place and first, second and third runner up. The judging panel will provide additional recognition with the “Performance of Distinction” award for notable performances. Concert and Awards The Honor Choir Concert is presented Saturday evening by the previous year’s first place winner at the conclusion of the competition and clinics. An awards ceremony follows the concert, where trophies are awarded to ensembles earning a superior rating. Additional awards are presented to the first place winner, first, second and third runners up and performances of distinction.

2018 Adjudicators and Clinicians

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Adjudicators


Dianne Brumley is Director of Choral Music Studies and Professor of Music Education, Emerita at The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley – Brownsville. She was appointed in 2003 and was the first person to hold the position of Director of Choral Studies at the University. Brumley was the founding conductor of the University Master Chorale. During her ten-year tenure at UTRGV, the Master Chorale was selected to perform at the 2011 Texas Music Educators Association Convention and toured internationally. Brumley also served for 20 years as the founding Conductor and Artistic Director of the South Texas Chorale and Orchestra. Brumley is a frequent guest conductor, clinician, motivational speaker and adjudicator throughout Texas and the United States. Currently, she serves as a choral music education consultant. Before her time with the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, Brumley was a successful choral music educator in public schools. Choirs under her direction were selected for honor performances at Texas Music Educators Association conventions, American Choral Directors Association regional and national conventions and a featured performance at the Texas Choral Directors Association convention. Active in Texas choral music endeavors for many years, in 2011 Brumley was honored to receive the Texas Choral Excellence Award from the Texas Choral Directors Association.


Karen Kenaston-French is Associate Professor and Director of Choral Activities at the University of Texas Arlington, where she conducts the A Cappella Choir, teaches graduate and undergraduate conducting, and heads the Vocal Area. Under her direction the UTA A Cappella Choir has performed at the Texas Music Educators Association state convention (2014), has made three appearances with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, and was named a finalist in the 2014 American Prize for Choral Performance for its CD, “The Road Home.” In February 2015 the choir served as Ensemble-in-Residence for the National Student Conducting Competition at the American Choral Directors Association conference in Salt Lake City, and in March 2016 gave an invited performance at the Southwestern Division Conference of ACDA in Kansas City. Prior to her arrival at UTA, Dr. Kenaston-French served as Director of Choral Activities at Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, Tennessee, taught conducting at Southern Methodist University and the University of North Texas, and was director of music ministries at Plymouth Park United Methodist Church in Irving, Texas. She holds a B.A. from West Virginia Wesleyan College, M.M. and M.S.M. degrees from Southern Methodist University, and a D.M.A. from the University of North Texas. In 2011 she was a conductor for the Choral/Orchestral Master Class of the Oregon Bach Festival, under Helmut Rilling and Jeffrey Kahane.

Dr. Joshua Oppenheim serves as Associate Professor of Music and Co-Director of Choral Studies at Kansas State University. Prior to that, he was on faculty at the Crane School of Music in New York. He received his B.M. from Western Michigan University, his M.M. at the University of Mississippi, and his D.M.A. in Choral Conducting at the University of North Texas. His choirs have performed by invitation at the New York State School Music Association Conference (Men’s Choir 2007) the Kansas Music Educators Association Conference (Concert Choir 2009, Men’s Choir 2012) the American Choral Directors Association Southwestern Conference (Concert Choir 2012, In•A•Chord 2015) National A cappella Conference (In•A•Chord 2015) and the National Collegiate Choral Organization (Men’s Choir 2013). He has done additional study and been engaged as guest conductor and clinician in Carnegie Hall (2014, 2015) Cambridge, United Kingdom; Milan, Italy; Singapore, Dubai, United Arab Emirates. He has presented sessions and conducted honor choirs in Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Mississippi, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, as well as the Western and Southwestern ACDA conferences.

Clinicians


John Dickson is the Edward G. and Catherine M. Galante Chair for Choral Music Education at Louisiana State University’s School of Music. As Director of Choral Studies, he conducts the A Cappella Choir and supervises the masters and doctoral programs in choral conducting. Outside of academia, he is the conductor of Coro Vocati, one of Atlanta’s most accomplished professional chamber choirs. As a conducting pedagogue, Dr. Dickson has presented master-classes before the Association of British Choral Directors and the Russian State Music Conservatories of St. Petersburg and Moscow. He has conducted festivals and workshops in England, Wales, Scotland, Finland, France, and Canada. For three decades, his choirs have been featured at state, regional, and national ACDA conventions, and he has conducted All-State choruses and workshops throughout the U. S. Appointed as a Visiting Fellow of Wolfson College, Cambridge University in 1992, Dr. Dickson sang with Sir David Willcocks and The Bach Choir; a second post-doctoral fellowship in 1998 allowed him to serve as David Hill’s assistant conductor. He is the Founding Director of the C. S. Lewis Choral Institute, featuring a professional chorus for its triennial symposium in Oxford and Cambridge.


Allen Hightower is the Director of Choral Studies at the University of North Texas. At UNT, Allen serves as conductor of the A Cappella Choir and the Grand Chorus, and oversees a comprehensive choral program that includes seven choral ensembles. Dr. Hightower leads the master’s and doctoral programs in choral conducting. Prior to his appointment at UNT, Dr. Hightower was the first holder of the Weston Noble Endowed Chair in Music, at Luther College, where he served as conductor of the renowned Nordic Choir and Artistic Director of Christmas at Luther. As Luther’s Director of Choral Activities, he gave leadership to a choral program that included four conductors, six choirs, and over 530 singers. From 2000-2010, Dr. Hightower served as Professor of Music and Director of Choral Activities at Sam Houston State University. During his tenure, the SHSU Chorale performed for the 2007 National Convention of the American Choral Directors Association, the 2010 Southwestern Division of ACDA, and the 2003, 2006, and 2010 conventions of the Texas Music Educators Association. From 1992-1996 he was Director of Choirs at Odessa Permian High School, and led the PHS Kantorei and Chamber Orchestra in performance at the 1996 Texas Music Educators Association convention.


Dr. Julie Yu is Co-Director of Choral Studies at Kansas State University where she is part of a team that oversees eight choral ensembles and teaches undergraduate and graduate choral conducting.  Dr. Yu holds a Bachelor of Music degree in music education from the University of Central Oklahoma, Master of Music degree in choral conducting from Oklahoma State University, and the Doctorate of Musical Arts degree in choral conducting from the University of North Texas. Before joining the Kansas State faculty, Dr. Yu taught at Norman North High School in Norman, Oklahoma and San José State University. She has conducted honor choirs in Arkansas, Delaware, Kansas, Maine, Missouri, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and Germany.  She has given presentations and her choirs have performed for the Kansas Music Educators Association, Missouri Music Educators Association, Oklahoma Choral Directors Association, the American Choral Directors Association and the European Music Educators Association Conventions.  She is the Southwest American Choral Directors Association President Elect designate and a National Board Member of the National Collegiate Choral Organization.  She also serves as Artistic Director of the Flint Hills Masterworks Chorale and the Vice President of the Flint Hills Children’s Choir.

2019 San Antonio Adjudicators and Clinicians

Adjudicators


Dr. David Means is Director of Choral Studies at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley in Edinburg, TX, the conductor of the Valley Symphony Chorale, and recently founded Rio Grande Valley’s premier professional chamber choir, the Valley Choral Artists. Dr. Means came to south Texas from Austin where he was Head Choral Director of the Grammy Award winning Fine Arts Academy of Westwood High School. Means has also taught at the University of Southern California, Christopher Newport University, Hill College and has more than twenty years’ experience successfully teaching public school choirs in Texas and California. He is active as a guest conductor, adjudicator and clinician, having taught, judged and performed across Texas, the United States, Europe, Mexico, Canada and Japan. In addition to TMEA and UIL adjudication, he also regularly leads workshops for music teachers and conducts workshops for singers. Recently he served on the prestigious jury of the Preveza International Choral Festival in Preveza, Greece, and has presented sessions for the Hawaii ACDA chapter and was a featured clinician for TCDA 2017. This is his second opportunity to adjudicate the American Classic Madrigal Festival. Means earned degrees from Howard Payne University, Baylor University and the University of Southern California.


Richard Robbins is Director of Choral Activities and Assistant Professor of Music at the University of Minnesota Duluth, where he conducts the University Singers and Chamber Singers, and teaches choral conducting and methods. Dr. Robbins travels extensively as a conductor for choral festivals and honor choirs across the country, with recent engagements in Miami, Los Angeles, Orlando, San Francisco, Chicago, and New York City. His early music editions are published internationally, and he has presented on a range of topics for music education and conducting organizations, including the American Choral Directors Association, and internationally at Warsaw’s Chopin Conservatory of Music (Poland). Dr. Robbins has prepared choirs for the Houston Ballet and for over 50 performances with the Houston Symphony. Currently, he is the Chorus Master for the Duluth Superior Symphony Orchestra Chorus. Choral groups under Dr. Robbins’ direction have earned awards at numerous festivals, and have collaborated with a wide range of classical and pop artists.He previously served as Director of Choral Activities at the University of Wisconsin-Superior, and taught choral music in Texas at South Houston High School and Houston’s High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, where he was named Teacher of the Year. He also serves as a festival conductor for the American Federation Pueri Cantores, the Vatican’s youth music organization.


Brian A. Schmidt is Associate Professor of Choral Music at Baylor University and conductor of the Baylor A Cappella Choir and Chamber Singers. He teaches graduate choral conducting and literature courses and guides graduate conducting recitals. Schmidt is also the Grammy® nominated founder and Artistic Director of the South Dakota Chorale, a professional choir based in Sioux Falls, SD and has grown the ensemble’s artistic presence through commercial recordings and the signing of an international recording contract in 2014 with PENTATONE, a Dutch classical label. Previously, Schmidt served at Duke University Chapel where he conducted the Duke Vespers Ensemble and founded several new ventures including the monthly Bach Cantata Series and Cappella Baroque (a professional period-instrument orchestra) along with publishing recordings on the MSR Classics label. He is a frequent guest conductor and his choirs have appeared on Division and National ACDA Conferences and Boston Early Music Festival. He was selected by ACDA to represent America in the International Conductor Exchange Program with Sweden, resulting in study and guest conducting opportunities in Sweden during the fall of 2015. Schmidt graduated from the University of North Texas, where he completed MM and DMA degrees under Jerry McCoy and Richard Sparks, along with early music studies under Lyle Nordstrom and Lenora McCroskey. Clinicians


Dr. Eduardo García-Novelli, is Director of Choral Activities and Chair, Music Department, Carthage College, Kenosha, WI. , also Artistic Director of Master Singers of Milwaukee. Born in Argentina, Eduardo served 8 years as Choir Director at Belgrano Day School in Buenos Aires, and as Assistant Conductor of the National Youth Choir. Former Assistant Director, Houston Symphony Chorus, and Director, Symphony of Southeast Texas Chorus. Received the Faculty Merit Award for distinguished teaching as Director of Choral Activities, Lamar University, Beaumont, TX. Two undergraduate degrees from state conservatories in Argentina. MM: Westminster Choir College, Princeton, NJ. DMA: University of Houston, TX. His choirs performed at TMEA, WMEA, WCDA, NCCO National Conference, and the International Choral Festival in Panama City, Panama. Several National, European and South American tours. In 2016 he was in residence at the Academy of Music in Ljubljana, Slovenia, lecturing and conducting the award-winning AVE Chamber Choir. Also in 2016 he conducted Mozart’s Missa brevis in F K 192 at the historical Peterskirche in Vienna. Last March he returned to Carnegie Hall to conduct Mozart’s Coronation Mass with the New England Symphonic Ensemble and festival choir. Last summer he was in residence in Buenos Aires with the National Young People Choir performing an all-American repertoire. He just returned from a highly successful tour through Hungary, Slovenia, and Italy.


Z. Randall Stroope is an American conductor, composer. He is also the Doug and Nickie Burns Chair of Choral Music at Oklahoma State University, where he coordinates the vocal and choral conducting program. In the United States, he has conducted at most of the major concert halls, including Chicago Orchestra Hall, Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, and Carnegie Hall (where he has conducted every year since 2001). He has conducted 45 all-state choirs, and numerous festival choirs in the United States. Internationally, Randall has directed in Hong Kong, Barcelona, Nova Scotia, Dublin and and Rome in the past year. He has 165 published musical works, including Four Spanish Sonnets of Garcilaso de la Vega, Conversion of Saul, Amor de mi alma, Christi Mutter (Stabat Mater), and Go Lovely Rose. His composition teachers were Normand Lockwood and Cecil Effinger, both students of Nadia Boulanger, the famous French teacher (and student of Gabriel Fauré.) In the final analysis, Randall loves working with students and making a difference – that is the greatest contribution.


Dr. Betsy Cook Weber is Professor of Music and Director of Choral Studies at the University of Houston’s Moores School of Music and is also active internationally as a conductor, clinician, adjudicator, and lecturer. Weber also serves as Director of the Houston Symphony Chorus. In that role, she prepares choral-orchestral masterworks for some of the world’s greatest conductors. HSC recently concluded performances with the Prague Symphony Orchestra and the Litomysl Festival Orchestra in the Czech Republic. Choirs under Weber’s direction have been featured at multiple state (TMEA 2002, 2005, 2008, 2013, 2017) and national conventions (ACDA 2007 and 2017 and NCCO 2017). Internationally, Weber has led choirs to top prizes at prestigious competitions in Wales, France and Germany. Weber routinely prepares singers for Houston’s early music orchestras Ars Lyrica and Mercury Houston, as well as preparing singers for touring shows, including Josh Groban, NBC’s Clash of the Choirs, Telemundo’s Latin Grammy’s, Star Wars in Concert, Andreas Bocelli, and Harry Potter. In 2013, Weber became the 1st woman to receive TCDA’s Texas Choirmaster Award. She is editor of the Betsy Cook Weber choral series with Alliance Music Publishing Before coming to the University of Houston, Weber taught vocal music, K-12, in the public schools. She holds degrees from the University of North Texas, Westminster Choir College (Princeton, NJ), and the University of Houston.  

2019 North Texas Adjudicators and Clinicians

Adjudicators


Karen Kenaston-French Director of Choral Activities University of Texas Arlington Arlington, TX

Karen Kenaston-French is the Associate Professor and Director of Choral Activities at the University of Texas Arlington, where she conducts the A Cappella Choir, teaches graduate and undergraduate conducting, and heads the Vocal Area. The UTA A Cappella Choir will be performing at the 2019 Texas Music Educators Association state convention, where they also performed in 2014. The choir has made three appearances with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, and was named a finalist in the 2014 American Prize for Choral Performance for its CD, “The Road Home.” In February 2015 the choir served as Ensemble-in-Residence for the National Student Conducting Competition at the American Choral Directors Association conference in Salt Lake City, and in March 2016 gave an invited performance at the Southwestern Division Conference of ACDA in Kansas City. Prior to her arrival at UTA, Dr. Kenaston-French served as Director of Choral Activities at Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, Tennessee, taught conducting at Southern Methodist University and the University of North Texas, and was director of music ministries at Plymouth Park United Methodist Church in Irving, Texas. She holds a B.A. from West Virginia Wesleyan College, M.M. and M.S.M. degrees from Southern Methodist University, and a D.M.A. from the University of North Texas.


Kenny Sheppard
Professor Emeritus Southwestern University Georgetown, TX

Kenny Sheppard is the Professor Emeritus of Music at Southwestern University. In 2016 he received the Texas Choral Directors Association’s Choirmaster Award. He retired in 2018 after a fifty-three-year career in choral music in Texas: Odessa, Big Spring, McAllen, and Georgetown at Southwestern University. He continues to serve as clinician, adjudicator, and consultant to choral conductors in matters of repertoire, manual conducting, and teaching techniques.

Sheppard continues to serve as conductor of the Festival Chorus for the Georgetown Festival of the Arts, a position he has held since 2005. His appearances as guest conductor include the Austin Symphony, the International Festival-Institute at Round Top, the New England Symphonic Ensemble at Carnegie Hall, the Austin Civic Orchestra, the Austin Youth Orchestra, and numerous choral festivals. He has conducted international concert tours in China, Hungary, Czech Republic, Germany, Italy, and France. He served as Conductor of Chorus Austin from 2001 to 2008. Until 2017, he was the Director of the Conductors Institute of Southwestern University, serving conductors at all stages of professional development.

A devoted teacher, Dr. Sheppard has mentored many students who now hold positions as conductors and teachers in public schools, churches, and universities.


Robert Simpson Artistic Director Houston Chamber Choir Lecturer of Church Music Shepherd School of Music, Rice University Canon for Music, Christ Church Cathedral Houston, TX

Robert Simpson is the Founder and Artistic Director of the Houston Chamber Choir. He also serves as Canon for Music at Houston’s historic Christ Church Cathedral, and Lecturer of Church Music at Shepherd School of Music at Rice University. Chorus America awarded him the Michael Korn Founders Award for the Development of the Professional Choral Art and most recently awarded the Houston Chamber Choir the Margaret Hillis Award for Choral Excellence in 2018. Mr. Simpson is the recipient of the 2015 American Prize in Choral Conducting. Choirs under his direction have toured the United States, Europe and Mexico, and performed before national conventions of Chorus America, the American Choral Directors Association, The American Guild of Organists, The Association of Anglican Musicians, and The Hymn Society of America. They have appeared nationally on CBS-TV, ABC-TV and American Public Radio. Mr. Simpson is married to Marianna Parnas-Simpson, the noted children’s choir conductor.

Clinicians


Pearl Shangkuan
Director of Choral Activities and Professor of Music Calvin College Chorus Director, Grand Rapids Symphony Editor, Mosaic: the Pearl Shangkuan choral series, earthsongs Editor, The Calvin Institute of Christian Worship music series, GIA Grand Rapids, MI

Pearl Shangkuan is a highly sought after conductor, lecturer and clinician all across the United States and internationally. Director of Choral Activities and Professor of Choral Music at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan, she is also chorus master of the Grand Rapids Symphony. Her conducting, teaching and adjudicating engagements have taken her to Australia , Brazil , Canada , South Africa and all over Europe and Asia . Shangkuan has a signature choral series with earthsongs and edits the Calvin Choral series, published by GIA. Michigan ACDA has honored her with their Maynard Klein Choral Award for “artistic excellence and lifetime leadership in choral music.” Her choirs have performed at American Choral Directors Association national, division and state conferences and for other professional music organizations. She has conducted numerous All State choirs, ACDA division honor choirs, and other honor choirs and festivals nationally and internationally, and has headlined several ACDA state conferences. She has also served on the jury of international choral competitions in Europe and Asia, and has been a guest faculty for many programs in the US . She served as president of ACDA Central Division and Michigan ACDA, and has commissioned and premiered numerous choral works by acclaimed composers.


Craig Jessop
Professor of Music Founding Dean, Caine College of the Arts Utah State University Founder and Music Director American Festival Chorus and Orchestra Logan, UT

Craig Jessop is Professor of Music and the founding Dean of the Caine College of the Arts at Utah State University. He is also the founder and Music Director of the American Festival Chorus and Orchestra.

His distinguished career includes Music Director of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. Under his direction, the Tabernacle Choir received numerous awards, including the coveted National Medal of Arts in a White House ceremony. He has recorded more than 15 CDs with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra and has been nominated for a Grammy. At the 2002 Winter Olympic Games Opening Ceremony in Salt Lake City, Dr. Jessop conducted the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and the Utah Symphony, working with artists Sting and Yo-Yo Ma.

Dr. Jessop has conducted in the world’s most prestigious concert halls, in¬cluding Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, the Kennedy Center, Royal Albert Hall in London and throughout Europe and Asia. He has conducted at national American Choral Directors Association conferences on four occasions and is a frequent guest conductor at Massachusetts’ Berkshire Choral Festival. Dr. Jessop has been active as a baritone vocalist as a member of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and with the choirs of Helmuth Rilling, John Rutter, and The Robert Shaw Festival Singers.

Joshua Habermann Conductor, Dallas Symphony Chorus Artistic Director, Santa Fe Desert Chorale Adjunct Professor, University of North Texas Dallas, TX The 2017-2018 season marks Joshua Habermann’s seventh year as conductor of the Dallas Symphony Chorus. Recent projects with the DSC include Bach’s St. Matthew Passion and Benjamin Britten’s War Requiem, which was reprised for the national convention of the American Choral Directors Association in 2013. Prior to his DSO appointment, Habermann was assistant conductor of the San Francisco Symphony Chorus under Vance George. Other singing credits include the Oregon Bach Festival Chorus and three recordings with Austin-based Conspirare. Habermann is music director of the Santa Fe Desert Chorale, a 24-voice professional chamber choir based in New Mexico. During his tenure the ensemble has been recognized for outstanding performances of repertoire ranging from choral-orchestral masterworks to innovative a cappella programs. A passionate advocate for music education, Habermann has served on the faculties at San Francisco State University and the University of Miami, and worked with singers and conductors in master classes and honor choirs throughout the United States and abroad. He is currently an adjunct faculty member at the University of North Texas. Raised in San Francisco, Habermann is a graduate of Georgetown University and the University of Texas at Austin, where he completed doctoral studies in conducting with Craig Hella Johnson.

2020 San Antonio Adjudicators and Clinicians

Adjudicators


James Franklin, Director of Choral Activities, East Carolina University, Greenville, NC where he conducts the ECU Chamber Singers, directs the graduate program in choral conducting, and teaches undergraduate conducting. Recent honors include invitations to perform at the National ACDA Conference (Kansas City, MO), European Grand Prix for Choral Singing (Varna, Bulgaria), SW-ACDA Conference (Little Rock, AR), Piccolo Spoleto Festival (Charleston, SC), and Duke Chapel (Durham, NC).  Franklin remains active as a guest conductor and clinician with frequent invitations across the United States.

In addition to his duties at ECU, Franklin remains active as a singer. He has performed with many professional choirs including the Grammy-nominated South Dakota Chorale, Taylor Festival Choir, Orpheus Chamber Singers, Dallas Bach Society, Houston Bach Society, and Fuma Sacra of New Jersey.  Recent recording projects include CDs with Taylor Festival Choir (2018) and South Dakota Chorale (2016 & 2014). Prior to his conducting at the collegiate level, he taught public high school and middle school choir in Texas where he has often served as a clinician and adjudicator. He received his BME, vocal emphasis, from Baylor University, his MM in Choral Conducting from Westminster Choir College, and his DMA degree from the University of North Texas. (picture) Richard Robbins is Director of Choral Activities and Assistant Professor of Music at the University of Minnesota Duluth, where he conducts the University Singers and Chamber Singers, and teaches choral conducting and methods. Dr. Robbins travels extensively as a conductor for choral festivals and honor choirs across the country, with recent engagements in Miami, Los Angeles, Orlando, San Francisco, Chicago, and New York City. His early music editions are published internationally, and he has presented on a range of topics for music education and conducting organizations, including the American Choral Directors Association, and internationally at Warsaw’s Chopin Conservatory of Music (Poland). Dr. Robbins has prepared choirs for the Houston Ballet and for over 50 performances with the Houston Symphony. Currently, he is the Chorus Master for the Duluth Superior Symphony Orchestra Chorus. Choral groups under Dr. Robbins’ direction have earned awards at numerous festivals, and have collaborated with a wide range of classical and pop artists.He previously served as Director of Choral Activities at the University of Wisconsin-Superior, and taught choral music in Texas at South Houston High School and Houston’s High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, where he was named Teacher of the Year. He also serves as a festival conductor for the American Federation Pueri Cantores, the Vatican’s youth music organization. 

 
Meg Frazier, Director, School of Music, College of Music and Fine Arts, Rita O. Huntsinger Distinguished, Professor of Music, Director of Choral Activities, Loyola University, New Orleans, LA. A native Texan, Dr. Frazier earned her BMEd and MM at Sam Houston State (studying with Bev Henson) and her DMA at LSU (studying with Ken Fulton). She taught in the Texas public schools before teaching at Beloit College in Wisconsin and subsequently moving to Loyola in 1998. At Loyola, Dr. Frazier conducts the Loyola Chorale, Chorale SSA, and Loyola Chamber Singers. Loyola choirs have performed for regional ACDA, MENC, and NAfME conferences. She teaches choral methods, beginning and conducting. The School of Music presents over 250 public performances each concert season as a vibrant part of the cultural life of New Orleans.

A frequent guest clinician and conductor, she has conducted all-state choirs in Florida, Tennessee, Kentucky, Alaska, and Louisiana and honor choirs in 15 states. She adjudicates for multiple music festivals each season, both in New Orleans and regionally. She is the Artistic Director/Conductor for the award-winning choirs of NOVA, a community-based choral organization. NOVA’s Masterworks serves as the symphony chorus for the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra. NOVA and the Loyola choirs also collaborate with the New Orleans Opera.

 
Michael Murphy, Director of Choral Activities, Associate Professor of Music, Stephen F. Austin State University, Nacogdoches, TX. Prior to his appointment to SFA, Michael was Director of Choral Activities and Associate Professor at University of Idaho where he was Founder and Artistic Director of the Idaho Bach Festival and was recognized with the UI Faculty Award for outstanding scholarship, teaching, and engagement.

Dr. Murphy is an active clinician, adjudicator, author, and composer. His international conducting experiences include Austria, China, Czech Republic, Sweden, and Germany. In 2016, Michael was awarded the Confucius Institute Understanding China Fellowship and served as Visiting Scholar in Choral Music in Guangzhou, China. In the summer and fall of 2019, Michael will travel to South and Central America and give conducting masterclasses in Ecuador and Panama. Murphy has been published several times in Choral Journal and is a contributing author to volume 4 of Teaching Music Through Performance in Choir, published by GIA.  As a passionate champion of music for all, he has experience teaching all ages and levels and several auditioned and non-auditioned collegiate, community, school, and church choirs. Michael has held several state and national leadership positions in ACDA, NAfME, and NCCO.

 

Clinicians 

 
Richard Bjella, Director of Choral Studies Emeritus, Texas Tech University, Artistic Director for the San Antonio Chamber Choir, Appleton, WI, has distinguished himself as a conductor, clinician, choral pedagogue and choral arranger. He has been honored to have his choirs appear at the 2009 and 2013 National ACDA Conventions, as well as performances at Carnegie Hall, Orchestra Hall, and at TMEA conventions. In addition, Bjella’s graduate conductors also received finalist recognition in conducting competitions at two of the most recent National ACDA Conventions and one was awarded the Julius Herford Dissertation Prize. 

He has conducted and presented masterclasses throughout the world and at over 400 festivals and workshops in 32 states. He is also active in the promotion of creative choral programming and is a contributing writer for the book, The Oxford Handbook of Choral Pedagogy (2017) with his chapter, The Art of Successful Programming: Study, Selection, and Synthesis. Bjella also served as President of the WCDA (Wisconsin) and was awarded the prestigious Lawrence Excellence in Teaching Award (2007) and the Morris Hayes Lifetime Achievement Award (2013) from WCDA. Most recently, Bjella was the recipient of a 2017 Professing Excellence Award at Texas Tech University. Presently, he is the Artistic Director for the San Antonio Chamber Choir. (picture) Z. Randall Stroope is an American conductor, composer. He is also the Doug and Nickie Burns Chair of Choral Music at Oklahoma State University, where he coordinates the vocal and choral conducting program. In the United States, he has conducted at most of the major concert halls, including Chicago Orchestra Hall, Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, and Carnegie Hall (where he has conducted every year since 2001). He has conducted 45 all-state choirs, and numerous festival choirs in the United States. Internationally, Randall has directed in Hong Kong, Barcelona, Nova Scotia, Dublin and and Rome in the past year. He has 165 published musical works, including Four Spanish Sonnets of Garcilaso de la Vega, Conversion of Saul, Amor de mi alma, Christi Mutter (Stabat Mater), and Go Lovely Rose. His composition teachers were Normand Lockwood and Cecil Effinger, both students of Nadia Boulanger, the famous French teacher (and student of Gabriel Fauré.) In the final analysis, Randall loves working with students and making a difference – that is the greatest contribution. 

 
John Dickson, Director of Choral Studies, Edward G. and Catherine M. Galante Chair for Choral Music Education, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA. As Director of Choral Studies, he conducts the A Cappella Choir and supervises the masters and doctoral programs in choral conducting. He is also the conductor of Coro Vocati, one of Atlanta’s most accomplished professional chamber choirs.

As a conducting pedagogue, Dr. Dickson has presented master-classes before the Association of British Choral Directors and the Russian State Music Conservatories of St. Petersburg and Moscow. Beginning his 40th year as a collegiate choral conductor, his choirs and workshops have been featured throughout the U. S. and Europe. A Visiting Fellow of Wolfson College, Cambridge University, Dr. Dickson sang with Sir David Willcocks and The Bach Choir; a second post-doctoral fellowship allowed him to serve as David Hill’s assistant conductor. He is the Founding Director of the Oxbridge C. S. Lewis Choral Institute.

 
John Ratledge, Professor Emeritus, The University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL, was the Conductor of University Singers, Area Coordinator of Graduate Choral Conducting, and Director of Choral Activities during his twelve-year tenure at The University. Ratledge made his European orchestral conducting debut in 1996 with the Filharmonia Sudecka of Walbrzych and Wroclaw, and Poland, and since then, he has conducted orchestras in France, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Romania, and Spain. During his tenure at Shorter College of Rome, Georgia, the Shorter Chorale distinguished itself nationally and internationally by giving the world premiere of the full orchestral version of the Duruflé Requiem in Poland, Hungary, Romania, and Greece and the organ version premiere of the same work in Bulgaria; the world premiere of Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms in Poland, and the St. Petersburg, Russia world premieres of Handel’s Messiah in English and Corigliano’s Fern Hill. He is the Founder and Artistic Director of the Bassi Brugnatelli International Conducting and Singing Symposium held annually in Robbiate, Italy, and he is the editor of the new Javier Busto Choral Series of Carl Fischer Music Publishers. Ratledge currently is the Director of Music at First United Methodist Church in Tuscaloosa.

2020 North Texas Adjudicators and Clinicians

Adjudicators

 


David Means is Director of Choral Studies at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley in Edinburg, TX, the conductor of the Valley Symphony Chorale, and recently founded Rio Grande Valley’s premier professional chamber choir, the Valley Choral Artists. Dr. Means came to south Texas from Austin where he was Head Choral Director of the Grammy Award winning Fine Arts Academy of Westwood High School. Means has also taught at the University of Southern California, Christopher Newport University, Hill College and has more than twenty years’ experience successfully teaching public school choirs in Texas and California.

He is active as a guest conductor, adjudicator and clinician, having taught, judged and performed across Texas, the United States, Europe, Mexico, Canada and Japan. In addition to TMEA and UIL adjudication, he also regularly leads workshops for music teachers and conducts workshops for singers. Recently he conducted the Durufle’ Requiem in Buffalo, NY and served on the prestigious jury of the Preveza International Choral Festival in Preveza, Greece. He has presented sessions for the Hawaii and West Virginia ACDA chapters and was a featured clinician for TCDA 2017. In June 2019 he will be part of the jury for the international choir championship, Lege Artis in Tuzla, Bosnia and Herzegovina. Dr. Means earned degrees from Howard Payne University, Baylor University and the University of Southern California.

  
Joshua Oppenheim received his B.M. from Western Michigan University, his M.M. at the University of Mississippi, and his D.M.A. in Choral Conducting at the University of North Texas. His choirs have been selected to perform at state conferences (2009 Concert Choir; 2012 Men’s Choir); regional conferences (2012 Concert Choir; 2016 In A Chord); 2018 Concert Choir) national conferences (2104 Men’s Choir; 2015 In A Chord; 2017 Concert Choir) and international conferences (2018 Concert Choir) He has been engaged as guest conductor and clinician in Carnegie Hall (2014, 2016) ) the National Cathedral (2018) Singapore (2015), and Dubai (2015); and had done additional study at Trinity College Cambridge, England.

He has been engaged as presenter, judge, and conductor in Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Mississippi, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, and Western and Southwestern division ACDA conferences.

   
Trent Patterson conducts the Chamber Singers and Concert Choir, and teaches conducting and choral literature, at Webster University in Saint Louis. Under his leadership, Webster’s Chamber Singers have been selected by peer review to perform for state, regional and national conferences. Choirs under Dr. Patterson’s direction have appeared with Josh Groban in Saint Louis, Clearwater, Orlando, Kansas City, and have collaborated with The Boston Camerata and the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra. Dr. Patterson has appeared as clinician in Arkansas, Florida, Illinois, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, Tennessee, and Texas.

Known for his knowledge of choral, solo vocal, and operatic repertoire, Patterson has appeared as collaborative pianist throughout the United States and abroad. Patterson has served as an opera répétiteur at the American Institute of Musical Studies (Graz, Austria) where he previously was a Fisher-Tye Fellow studying German Lieder and vocal coaching with noted pianist Harold Heiberg.

Patterson holds a DMA in choral conducting from Michigan State University. He received a MA in choral conducting from San José State University and a BME from The Florida State University. Dr. Patterson thanks influential mentors Charlene Archibeque, Judy Bowers, David Rayl, Sandra Snow, André J. Thomas, and others who continue to inspire him today.

Clinicians

 

 
Lynn Gackle, is the Director of Choral Activities at Baylor University and holds the Mary Jane Gibbs Professor of Music Chair.  She conducts Baylor Bella Voce, Baylor Concert Choir, teaches choral conducting, choral literature and serves as the Director of the Ensemble Division.  Prior to her Baylor appointment, Lynne taught at the University of South Florida, University of Mississippi and the University of Miami (FL).  She received her education from LSU (BME) and the University of Miami (MM/PhD).  Lynne is an active choral clinician and conductor, nationally and internationally.  She has held various positions within the American Choral Directors Association, including President, Southern Division and ACDA-Florida and served as the TCDA-VP of Collegiate/Community Choirs.   She currently serves as the National Vice President for the American Choral Directors Association.

Gackle is the editor of Choral Artistry for the Singer  (Walton Music/GIA) and the Lynne Gackle Choral Series  (Colla Voce).  Internationally recognized for her research on the female adolescent voice, Lynne is the author of Finding Ophelia’s Voice, Opening Ophelia’s Heart in addition to contributing-author for other books published by GIA, Oxford, and Lead Author for Voices In Concert (Hal Leonard/McGraw Hill).   Gackle was awarded Baylor’s Outstanding Faculty Award in Research (2012).

 
Cameron F. LaBarr is director of choral studies at Missouri State University where he leads a comprehensive choral program including over 250 singers in eight choirs. He holds a Bachelor of Music from Missouri State University and he earned a Master of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts from the University of North Texas. He has completed further study in choral music and conducting with Simon Carrington and Alice Parker. Choirs under his direction have been selected for performance at the Tennessee Music Education Association Conference, Tennessee ACDA Conference, Missouri Music Educators Association Conference, Piccolo Spoleto Festival, National Collegiate Choral Organization, National ACDA, Southwest ACDA, Intercollegiate Men’s Choruses National Seminar, the China International Chorus Festival and the IFCM World Voices Conference. Dr. LaBarr has worked as guest conductor, clinician, and adjudicator across North America, Europe, Africa and Asia, most recently presenting at the China International Chorus Festival (2016 and 2018). In 2019, Dr. LaBarr will serve on the jury panel for the 8th Bali International Choir Festival and will guest conduct the Limerick Sings International Choral Festival (Ireland).

   
Sandra Snow, conductor, pedagogue, and scholar, is widely acknowledged as one who brings singers of all ages and abilities to artful performance through an understanding of the music and its context in the world around them. The MSU Women’s Chamber Ensemble has appeared as featured performers at American Choral Directors Association conventions at state, regional, and national levels. As guest conductor, she travels extensively in North America and abroad.  In 2017 Snow created mirabai, a project-based professional women’s chorus.  mirabai features alumna associated with the MSU Women’s Chamber Ensemble.  mirabai was a featured ensemble at the Texas Choral Director’s Association conference in 2018.  The inaugural recording, Ecstatic Songs, was released in 2018.

Snow is author of the DVD “Conducting-Teaching: Real World Strategies for Success” published by GIA (2009), a resource for conductor-teachers at all levels of teaching. She edits the choral music series In High Voice published by Boosey & Hawkes. Snow is the Artistic Director of the American Institute for Choral Teacher Education produced annually at MSU.  Snow is a recipient of the Michigan State University William J. Beal Award for Outstanding Faculty, the MSU Teacher-Scholar Award, and the Dortha J. and John D. Withrow award for Excellence in Teaching.

Past Results

2018 Madrigal Results

First Place and 2019 Honor Choir The Woodlands Chamber Choir Patrick Newcomb, Director

First Runner Up Midway Chambers Singers Jeff Rice, Director

Second Runner Up Vandergrift Chamber Choir Michael Zook, Director

Third Runner Up Kingwood Madrigals Jason Watt, Director

Performances of Distinction Arlington Chamber Singers, Mason Barlow, Director Centennial Chamber Singers, Eric Cooley, Director Conroe Cantare, Clay West, Director Cy Fair Singers, Nicholas Likos, Director Cypress Ranch Chamber Choir, Cynthia Douglas/Adam Bishea, Directors Cypress Woods Chamber Choir, Jason Womack, Director Garland Celebration Singers, Cheryl Wilson, Director Houston High School for the Performing and Visual Arts Madrigal Singers, Shannon Carter, Director J.J. Pearce Forte, Michael Lysinger, Director Langham Creek Chamber Singers, Christopher Fiorini, Director Montgomery Madrigals, Heather Orr, Director Pearland Kantorei, Michael Kessler, Director Seven Lakes Chamber Singers, Emily Chandler, Director Taylor Expressions, Kevin Riehle, Director

Adjudicators Diane Brumley, Emerita, University of Texas, Rio Grande Valley – Brownsville Karen Kenaston – French, University of Texas Arlington Joshua Oppenheim, Kansas State University

Clinicians John Dickson, Louisiana State University Allen Hightower, University of North Texas Julie Yu, Kansas State University  

2017 Madrigal Results

First Place and 2018 Honor Choir Reagan High School Mary Cowart, Director

First Runner Up Midway High School Jeff Rice, Director

Second Runner Up Langham Creek High School Chris Fiorini, Director

Third Runner Up Vandegrift High School Michael Feris, Director

Performances of Distinction Arlington High School, Mason Barlow, Director Clear Brook High School, Jon Marcum, Director Colleyville Heritage High School, Thomas Rinn, Director Cypress Creek High School, Sharon Paul, Director Garland High School, Cheryl Wilson, Director Magnolia High School, Jennifer Franz-Melady, Director Pearce High School, Michael Lysinger, Director Pearland High School, Michael Kessler, Director The Woodlands High School, Patrick Newcomb, Director Vista Ridge High School, Steve White, Director

Adjudicators
Pam Elrod, Southern Methodist University David Means, University of Texas Rio Grande Valley John Silantien, University of Texas at San Antonio

Clinicians
Rick Bjella, Texas Tech University Jonathan Reed, Michigan State University School of Music Sandra Snow, Michigan State University  

2016 Madrigal Results

First Place and 2017 Honor Choir High School for Performing and Visual Arts Shannon Carter, Director

First Runner Up Conroe High School Clay West, Director

Second Runner Up Garland High School Cheryl Wilson, Director

Third Runner Up Reagan High School Mary Cowart, Director

Performances of Distinction Arlington High School, Mason Barlow, Director Clear Brook High School, Jon Marcum, Director Colleyville Heritage High School, Thomas Rinn, Director Cypress Creek High School, Sharon Paul, Director Flower Mound High School, Mark Rohwer, Director Jersey Village High School, Neena Taylor, Director Langham Creek High School, Christopher Fiorini, Director Magnolia High School, Jennifer Franz-Melady, Director Midway High School, Jeff Rice, Director Taylor High School, Kevin Riehle, Director The Woodlands High School, Patrick Newcomb, Director Vandegrift High School, Michael Feris, Director Vista Ridge High School, Steve White, Director

Adjudicators
Randall Hooper, Texas A&M University Cameron LaBarr, Missouri State University Gary Mabry, University of Texas at San Antonio

Clinicians
Kenneth Davis, Conductor, Artist, Educator John Ratledge, University of Alabama Betsy Cook Weber, University of Houston Moores School of Music

2015 Madrigal Results

First Place and 2016 Honor Choir Pearland Kantorei, Pearland ISD Derrick Bready, Conductor

Adjudicators
Dianne Brumley, University of Texas at Brownsville Karen Kenaston-French, University of Texas Arlington David Rayl, Michigan State University

Clinicians
John Dickson, Louisiana State University Lynne Gackle, Baylor University Eduardo Garcia-Novelli, Carthage College

 2014 Madrigal Results

First Place and 2015 Honor Choir The Woodlands Chamber Choir, Conroe ISD Bob Horton, Director

Adjudicators
Jonathan Reed, Michigan State University John Silantien, University of Texas at San Antonio James Franklin, Sam Houston State University

Clinicians
Richard Bjella, Texas Tech University Z. Randall Stroope, Oklahoma State University Kenneth Davis, St. John’s College, Santa Fe, New Mexico